Javier Albarracín Valdivia, from Perú, has loved business from a very young age and at the moment is dedicated to three online streams: Web Directories, Video Blogs Production and Blogs Publishing. His best known services are without a doubt Blogalaxia and Telurica.
Javier Albarracin confirms that he has always had a keen interest in business and since he read Konosuke Matsushita’s book has been convinced that his field is business management.
He studied a Bachelor of Management Studies at the University of Lima. He complemented these studies with a Postgraduate Degree in Management from the University of Piura and last December was granted a Master of Business Administration (MBA) by INCAE.
The INCAE program is based in Peru, but it took me to IE in Madrid where I spent time as a visitor.
In professional terms, many people would think that Javier is interested only in banks and CRMs because he began his career in banking in 1997, as a customer service representative. Quickly he became a business analyst and ended up as a commercial leader of the electronic channels of the bank.
Let’s say that due to a mixture of knowledge. I got a job offer in a Spanish consultancy (Cluster Consulting) that opened offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
It was there where Javier learned to combine internet with business. He participated in several projects mainly with banks that helped him to learn the technology that was used in Web environments.
I remember that one of my first prototypes was an application for “web accounts aggregation” of a virtual bank.
His first Web incursion dates from 1999 when he registered a page that was a guide to pubs, discos and restaurants of Lima. But the project didn’t progress as he hoped. In 2004 he tried his luck with rematazo.com, requesting leave from work to do so:
I bought a code in PHP and dedicated 21 days, working more than 12 hours daily, so that the program did what I wanted and in Spanish. The greatest surprise was when it got 1000 visits in a day. I always remember that day because I truly thought that this was a huge number of visits.
That gave him the confidence to continue investing time and money on the Internet. Javier, nowadays is totally focussed on the Internet and in 2007 founded Inventarte USA Corp, registered in the United States but with a branch in Peru.
We work on three fields: Web Directories, Video Blogs Production and Blogs Publishing
Since Javier started with Open Source, the biggest difficulty was to understand PHP and MySQL well:
I thought it was the only thing that I needed to know, but really soon I learned Apache and how to make an application “scalable”. I believe that there is very little spoken in this regard but it should be part of any development team’s focus.
Javier considers that in order for an application to be successful, it is necessary not only to make it pretty, useful and “friendly to use” but also scalable.
Another topic is the hardware architecture that you use. At the beginning you think that with a hosting of 5 dollars you can have great results and soon you realize that the thing requires much more.
His development equipment is managed by Bruno Kámiche. His partner, José Planas and Daphne Marin are in charge of the development and maintenance of the sites, and Namie Montero is in charge of the graphic design.
We are a team of jack-of-all-trades because managing the site is not only about taking care of the technical aspect, it also implies being involved in the Helpdesk role, solving visitor enquiries and most of all offering an excellent service.
Among the outstanding projects in which Javier participates, the following stand out:
- Blogalaxia: directory and search engine of blogs for the Latin market.
We used the word ‘Latin’ because it implies the feeling of union between all Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian speaking countries. There are more than 50 thousands bloggers in the ‘Latin’ community who have registered and whom we serve daily as source as visits for their blogs.
- Perublogs.com: the Peruvian directory of blogalaxia.
- Telurica.com: videoblog that feels like a “television channel”, with a show that runs Monday through Friday. The show is conducted by Karina Channels and Cuba Robert. In February, of this year, Telurica achieved 10 million views in YouTube. YouTube.
The idea of the show is to spread the blogs registered in the Blogalaxia directory even further. Recently we have launched impagable.com another videoblog also aimed at bloggers, where we talked live with bloggers.
- Blogs.com.pe: a network of blogs for women.
We have more than 10 blogs who’s topics range from babies to fashion. This network receives more than 1 million Peruvian visitors and it has been the first commercial network of blogs in Peru.
Javier confesses he is a lover of Google’s products. He is a user of tools like Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Maps and Google Reader to read more than the 100 feeds to which he is subscribed. In addition, lately he has been having fun with Facebook.
I think that the site that I use the most is YouTube. I use it for everything: if I want to buy new gadgets, to know how to do something I “youtube”. And, of course, Google’s search is my homepage.
The things are becoming more and more interesting in the Peruvian job market, assures Javier, because the economy of the country is growing and this creates new opportunities. (Nevertheless, it is not yet perfect and there may not be options for everyone):
But my personal view is that Peru at the present time is a sea of opportunities, ready to test new things. We believe that we, Peruvians, are very innovative, like technology and we adopt it quickly.
An example of this is the tele-working, at the moment more than 20 Peruvian bloggers write articles for Javier’s blogs.
And from the comfort of their home, they are earning quite interesting incomes for Latin American standards.
Finally, Javier has a simple message for those who have dedicated themselves to the Web business: if you are a very technical person you must look for a friend who has a business vision:
It is the sum of creativity of the user and technological creativity what makes an application powerful. The good business approach is not only the one that aims solely at making money. The good business approach is to think about your users’ needs and then to focus the technology towards the satisfaction of these. Certainly obtaining some type of revenue along the way.
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